Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
United Kingdom/USA, 1991. Universal Pictures, Initial Pictures, Kellgate Limited. Screenplay by James Dearden, based on the novel by Ira Levin. Cinematography by Mike Southon. Produced by Robert Lawrence. Music by Howard Shore. Production Design by Jim Clay. Costume Design by Marit Allen. Film Editing by Michael Bradsell.
Sometimes Ira Levin novels make terrific films (Rosemary’s Baby), and sometimes they really, really don’t (Sliver, though Levin can’t be faulted for Joe Eszterhas’ removing his entire original plotline and substituting an inferior one of his own). Like The Boys From Brazil, A Kiss Before Dying rests slightly in the middle but leaning a fair share towards the Not A Winner side. Sean Young plays twin sisters until one of them is murdered by psychopath Matt Dillon at the beginning of the film. The surviving twin begins a volatile relationship with him that becomes threatening when she begins to suspect that her sister’s death was no suicide and decides to probe further into the matter. The eventual resolution that reveals the source of Dillon’s obsession with these two women is the kind of plot revelation that works beautifully in a novel but will probably leave film audiences stamping their feet in anger.